7th Circuit Court of Appeals Says Officials Not Immune

The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that police officers and prosecutors are not immune from being sued for alleged constitutional violations. Herb Whitlock and Gordon “Randy” Steidl spent 21 and 17 years respectively in prison before key witnesses recanted, important evidence was deemed unreliable, and they were released. According to the Chicago Tribune here, the ruling will permit Whitlock and Steidl to sue for what Steidl alleged was a “17-year conspiracy involving the Paris police department, Illinois State Police, and the Edgar County state’s attorney’s office.” Former county prosecutor Michael McFatridge is among those named in the suit.

“If their claims are true, a grave and nearly unbelievable miscarriage of justice occurred in Paris, Ill.” opined the Court.

Meanwhile, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will argue before the Illinois Supreme Court that her office’s obligation to defend elected officials should not apply to McFatridge, accused by the plaintiffs of “willful and wanton misconduct.”

Read more on this ruling here (People’s Law Office) and the full court decision here.

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